Best Of Home

Best Food Trucks In The Twin Cities

May 11, 2011 3:03 PM

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

When it comes to good eats on the streets, Minneapolis and St. Paul are really making quite a name for themselves. A somewhat new venture for both cities, just starting last year, food trucks really hit the ground running — offering downtown diners both the convenience of a quick meal and the pleasure of enjoying the outdoors during our only “good” months.

With a new city council approval, Minneapolis will soon see even more food carts, but until then, here’s just a few of our favorites. Feel free to comment below and let us know if we missed your favorite. (Being mobile and all, it can be tricky to nail them all down!) For locations for most trucks and stands, check their Twitter page.

smack shack Best Food Trucks In The Twin Cities

(credit: CBS)

Smack Shack

Between 6th and 7th on Marquette

Two words: Lobster Roll. A little slice of heaven so good that it was named one of the best lobster rolls not only in the city, but in the country. Yeah, they’re kind of a big deal. Beyond the lobster roll, the menu boasts some of the best in shrimp, sausage and more, including the ever-tasty Po’ Boys. Finish a meal off with their seasoned French fries and you’ll understand why there’s always a line at the Smack Shack.

natedogs hot dog Best Food Trucks In The Twin Cities

(credit: CBS)

Nate Dogs

Minneapolis, St. Paul (check Twitter)

Nate is a hot dog genius. He takes only the best ingredients — MN wieners, homemade sauerkraut and tangy mustard — and throws a classic on its head. You gotta try these dogs.

food truck

(credit: CBS)

128 Mobile Café

Downtown St. Paul
On Kellogg, between St. Peter and Wabasha, on Wednesdays

128 Café takes the same approach to their cozy Cleveland Avenue restaurant as they do with their oh-so-cozy St. Paul food truck. Here, the only difference in the food is the way that it’s served. The uber-famous 128 BBQ baby back ribs are a must for eating on the go, served in a perfect lunch portion with plenty of that special sweet and spicy BBQ sauce.

turkeytogo Best Food Trucks In The Twin Cities

(credit: CBS)

Turkey To Go

8th and Nicollet

Every day is Thanksgiving Day at Turkey To Go — except at this popular food truck, you’re guaranteed fresh, juicy turkey sandwiches every time. Turkey To Go has been a long favorite at the Minnesota State Fair and more recently, at Target Field. So it only made sense to park a vendor on Nicollet Mall and hit the always bustling lunch crowd.

barrio Best Food Trucks In The Twin Cities

(credit: CBS)


Near 1st Avenue and 4th Street

Though the menu will be constantly changing at this south-of-the-border truck, fans of the restaurant can expect those same big flavors and tasty bites. An assortment of tacos, burritos, fantastic salsas and that heavenly guacamole will typically be offered, plus Jarritos beverages in a variety of flavors.

gastrotruck2 Best Food Trucks In The Twin Cities

(credit: CBS)


Downtown St. Paul
On Kellogg, between St. Peter and Wabasha, on Wednesdays

The folks behind Gastrotruck are what good eats on the street is all about — two food lovers who left the corporate world to get back to the roots of feeding and meeting the people. The menu here, while always changing, has a great variety of sliders — from fried egg to black bean and oat. The mac and cheese is always a must and the smoked chicken keeps fans coming back for more.

food truck

(credit: CBS)

Fork In The Road

Downtown St. Paul, Mears Park
On Kellogg, between St. Peter and Wabasha, on Wednesdays

Fork in the Road is a favorite for the St. Paul crowd — often selling out during busy days at the Capitol. A variety of pasta salads, quesadillas, gourmet sliders (try the salmon) and more keep the cooks in this kitchen always hopping. The menu standout, however, has to be the grilled cheese selection — especially the one toting juicy pulled pork.

magic bus cafe Best Food Trucks In The Twin Cities

(credit: Magic Bus Cafe)

Magic Bus Cafe

Various events and farmers markets
On Kellogg, between St. Peter and Wabasha, on Wednesdays

Known for their stellar combinations of juicy hot dogs, made in the comforts of a psychedelic food bus, Magic Bus definitely leaves a lasting impression, wherever it happens to land. Magic Bus has something for everyone — vegan options, curry relish and even a scrambled organic eggs dog.

food truck

(credit: CBS)

Chef Shack

Various Farmer’s Markets
On Kellogg, between St. Peter and Wabasha, on Wednesdays

They’ve been hailed as the place to eat at the Mill City Farmer’s Market and given their ever-bustling line, it’s clear to see their worth the wait. From bison burgers to tongue — yes, tongue — tacos, Chef Shack is always pushing the limits of the typical food truck. A must try? Their Indian spice mini donuts.

wsk2 Best Food Trucks In The Twin Cities

(credit: CBS)

World Street Kitchen (WSK)

Next to the LRT stop at 5th and Nicollet

From the team behind the highly delicious restaurant, Saffron, brothers Saed and Sameh Wadi are bringing an international offering to the street food game. Boasting big flavors and the freshest of ingredients, WSK’s menu includes short rib pho, bahn mi (chicken or mushroom), yum yum rice bowls and to finish any meal, a salted caramel ice cream sandwich.

dandelion2 Best Food Trucks In The Twin Cities

(credit: CBS)

Dandelion Kitchen

Outside the IDS Center on Nicollet

The iconic yellow truck of Dandelion Kitchen is a good indication of what you’ll find inside. Fresh, bright flavors of local, organic food. The downtown lunch menu features specially crafted sandwiches (try the grilled ham and brie) and housemade sodas including lemon ginger and rosemary grapefruit.

meritage Best Food Trucks In The Twin Cities

(credit: CBS)

Meritage Crepe Booth

Outside the Meritage restaurant, 410 St. Peter St. in St. Paul

So it’s not exactly your typical food truck but if we’re talking about good eats on the street than Meritage simply must be included. Their adorable and delectable crepe stand always seems to attract attention with a variety of sweet and savory flavors keeping the menu — and its customers — on their toes daily.

food truck

(credit: CBS)

Simply Steve’s

On Kellogg, between St. Peter and Wabasha, on Wednesdays

If you’re the all-day breakfast type, then Simply Steve’s is just the place to get your scones, fresh muffins and breakfast sandwiches at any time of day. For the lunchers, stop by for burgers, brats and sandwiches including a cajun turkey burger with chipotle mayo.

— Sara Boyd is a Web Producer at

View Comments
  • Jack

    Great topic for a Best Of… list! It’s been three years since I’ve been downtown (Mpls). I don’t remember seeing any food trucks in the years I worked down there. (Except for hot dog vendors.) I’m VERY excited to try a few of these on some days off! With a recommendation like that, I HAVE to try a lobster roll for sure. Tacos are a favorite of mine so, Barrio’s, here I come! The crepes in the picture above look awfully small. When I lived in Europe, they don’t skimp on crepes. Anyway, thanks SO MUCH for this list!

    What kind of prices can I expect to find? Restaurant prices or something more reasonable for food-on-the-run?

  • Lars

    I have to agree, Jack – haven’t had a lobster roll for ages. Going to have to make a special trip downtown soon!

  • slboyd

    Glad you enjoy our Best Of! Let us know what you think when you try out some of the food trucks! Prices will vary depending on each truck — lobster rolls may scare you a bit with their $12 pricetag but I can assure you it’s worth it. Other places, sandwiches may range from $6 to $9 or so. Thanks again for the feedback!
    — Sara

  • Linda

    The Dandelion Kitchen truck must be good, there is always a line of people at it. I haven’t tried it yet, but will soon.

  • Stew

    You never mentioned the truck at Jct. Hwy 81 and 101 in Rogers. Best BBQ in 7 county area. Ribs are fantastic and beef brisket to die for.

    • MJ

      The place in Rogers is called The Rib Cage. Awesome BBQ!

  • Stephane' C.

    I’am so envy of these people doing what they do, I have been thinking of this food truck business for the longest time.
    You know how you have this calling for the longest time to get out and quick the salaried job and pursue the “dream”.
    these people are doing it and loving what they do, how, when , where do you start to pursue.

    • Ryan

      I suggest starting now…plan on opening for next season…start by looking up all licenses needed, check ebay, etc often to see what a used unit costs, and plan it out just like a restaurant…it sounds easy, but there is a lot of work to accomplish this goal. It is not as easy as it seems!

  • Alissa Monfre

    I just added this entire list to a twitter list, can’t wait for lunch this summer!

    • Timothy Hudacek

      Alissa, can I get the twitter list please?

  • Southern Girl

    There is also a food truck on University by Sun Foods. They have some good hearty classics like…. mac and cheese, collard greens, cat fish, chicken etc. Yummy yummy

  • O

    I am fond of the Richard Cranium wiener mobile they have the best wieners in town!!!!!

    • we

      I agree I was just there with a friend BIG E and he ate 40 hot dogs in 1/2 an hour ,man can he pack it away!

  • Elroy

    I think the lobster roll is a little pricey. After all, there is no restaurant overhead.

    • Kurt

      Do you know what a food truck costs? And the have a commissary kitchen to rent

      • elroy

        I don’t care how much a truck costs. A lunch sandwhich shouldn’t cost that much!

        • thomas

          take a bag lunch, quit crying these people are out trying to make a

  • Debby

    Funny…in San Diego these trucks are called “Roach Coaches”…LOL

  • Suzie M

    We stopped at Shakey Bonez yesterday, a purple truck parked across the street from Downtowner Car Wash on 7th Street in St. Paul. The food’s not gourmet, but it’s good and cheap.

  • Jeff

    A new entry in the food truck arena is NateDogs @Nate_Dogs best hot dog in town!!

  • AF

    Somebody ought to bring a food truck up around HCMC. There are plenty of people working in and around there, not to mention visitors to the hospital and clinics, and very few options to get lunch.

  • Adriana

    My personal favorite is Hola Arepa on Marquette Ave,between 5th+6th

    • AmyC

      I agree. Hola Arepa should be included in any “Best of” list. Guess where I’ll be lunching today?

    • Jack P.

      I just tried Hola Arepa last week based on your recommendation. It was good. Not great, but not bad in any way. The guys that work the truck are great and the food is fairly reasonable in price. I had the traditional pulled pork arepa but I was hoping for more flavor. I had their unsweetened strawberry hibiscus tea. (I think that’s what it was!) That was very good. I’d eat there again but I wouldn’t make a special trip for it.

  • Jack P.

    I’m heading downtown today for a final trip to the Farmer’s Market. I’m going to see if I can find Barrio and try them today. Then, a stop at the library and Target will round out my afternoon off!

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  • Food truck fans find fresh favorites - Rick Kupchella's –

    […] lunchtime diners on Yelp the trucks from Chef Shack, Hola Arepa, Dandelion Kitchen and Get Sauced. WCCO put together a top ten list back in May of 2011, so there have been many additions to the scene since it compiled an unranked […]

  • Food truck fans find fresh favorites « Street Food Locator

    […] lunchtime diners on Yelp the trucks from Chef Shack, Hola Arepa, Dandelion Kitchen and Get Sauced. WCCO put together a top ten list back in May of 2011, so there have been many additions to the scene since it compiled an unranked […]

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